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Mystery Ranch In and Out

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Mystery Ranch In and Out daypack (under 35l)

A 19-liter lightweight packable day pack with sternum strap, three outside pockets, an internal hydration sleeve, compression straps, and half-clamshell zippered opening.

Good design for minimalist everyday carry, day hiking, and accessory travel backpack and personal carry-on bag.


  • Compact lightweight packable design
  • Outside pockets
  • Side compression straps
  • Half-clamshell opening
  • Trail friendly features


  • Water bottle side pocket is good for slim bottles only
  • No waist belt options
  • Lightly padded shoulder straps
  • Contrasting sternum strap webbing and buckle
  • No key clip
  • Hose ports exit under the shoulder straps

I bought this backpack as an accessory day pack for "onebag" style travel. My main carry-on travel backpack is a Gregory Compass 30 liter and is too big for day trips. 

I have a 46" chest and the shoulder straps wrap well and the pack is stable. It is a minimalist design, particularly in the shoulder strap padding. I've seen worse, but a little more padding would help. The 19-liter rating seems reasonable. It appears that the manufacturer's dimensions are taken with the pack unloaded and spread out flat. 


  • Compact, lightweight, self-stowing/packable design
  • Zippered half-clamshell main opening
  • Ventilated shoulder straps
  • 3 outside pockets
  • Internal 2 liter hydration sleeve with hose ports and a toggle style bladder hanger. Hose ports exit under the shoulder straps
  • Tool loops
  • Sliding sternum strap
  • 4 side compression straps
  • Webbing hang/haul loop
  • Dual daisy chains


  • 19 liter volume
  • Fabrics: 100D CORDURA® Mini Rip

  • YKK zippers
  • Factory dimensions: 20"x13"x9"
  • Loaded dimensions as found: 18" x 9.25" x 7.25
  • Factory weight: 1lb/.4kg
  • Weight as found: 13.6 ounces/390g

This back is adequate for day use with light loads. The shoulder straps are 2.75" wide near the top and made with a layer of perforated padded mesh on the contact side and a honeycomb grid pattern vented fabric on the top. The sternum strap has a side release buckle with .75" webbing and slides on .75" vertical webbing. The shoulder straps adjust with typical ladder buckles on .75" webbing as well.

There is no waist belt, nor options to mount one. There are dual tool loops at the bottom using 3/8" grosgrain webbing. There are dual vertical daisy chains in contrasting .5" webbing on either side of the front pockets. Fabric is 100D mini ripstop nylon with an interior coating. There are two compression straps on the sides using 3/8" webbing and ladder buckles. 


  • There is a large 8" x 6.75" stretch mesh pocket on the front panel with a zipper at the top. This forms the self-stowing pocket. Using stretch mesh makes it easier to pack, but it does take some effort to get it all in there. 
  • There is another pocket at the top of the front panel with a curved zipper and measures 7" x 6" inside. It is lined with the same honeycomb grid fabric used in the outer layer of the shoulder straps. 
  • There is a stretch mesh fabric pocket on the outer right hand side. It has a 7/8" elastic band sewn in the top edge. I found it reasonable size for a tall narrow bottle like a Klean Kanteen 800ml, a Smartwater bottle or a typical bicycle water bottle. I had no problem getting a bottle in and out with the pack lightly loaded. It would be more difficult with the pack overstuffed. 
  • Inside is a 2-liter hydration sleeve with a center hang loop that has a toggle that is 1.5" long. 

What I like: the fabric is robust enough to use without excessive care. The front pockets are good size and mesh front pocket is great for wet stuff. The proportions of the pack are good. One fault of smaller packs is that they turn into barrels and ride high and bounce. It's a reasonable size for day hikes with essentials, snacks, camera and extra insulation and rain shell.

As a travel pack it can be used as a carry on "personal" bag and would fit under any airline seat. It wouldn't feel cumbersome for urban travel and navigating buses, subways and taxis. The half-clamshell opening is very good and makes for easy packing and locating items inside. I was able to fit two medium backing cubes inside and this pack could be used for bleeding edge Ultra Spartan "onebag" style travel (not for me). The logo is nicely low key (at least on the back version). Kudos on the four side compression straps!

Packable feature: I don't think much of stuffing a pack into its own pocket for storage. I haven't seen one yet that wasn't a wrestling match to get it all stuffed into the pocket and that just creates another lump to manage. I find it far easier to just lay it flat in a larger bag or maybe fold it once. You certainly could use it as a "super stuff sack" or food bag to get a little more use for the weight. This pack has the features to use as a summit pack or day trips from a base camp and it is quite a bit heavier than the "stuff sack with shoulder strap" packs out there. 

What I don't like: I would add a bit more padding to the shoulder straps, but that is a wish for just about any pack I've found in this class. I have seen far worse. I would add another side pocket and make them a bit larger. The hose ports exit under the shoulder straps so the hose needs to wrap around the strap at some point. I'd rather have the hose follow the top of the strap and have a couple light straps across the shoulder strap for ose management. Make that front mesh pocket just a little looser, please!

A bike light loop would be handy, although I could fake it with the daisy chain.  A mitten hook  style key ring clip in the top pocket would be welcome. I would color match the hardware and webbing on the shoulder straps. Oddly, it doesn't bother me on the daisy chains. While I'm at it, the option to add a waist belt using siamese or Gatekeeper style clips would be good. That and the light loop would make this a good pack for cycling too. 


International travel, wilderness backpacking.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $59

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Price MSRP: $79.00
Current Retail: $89.00
Historic Range: $55.26-$89.00
Reviewers Paid: $59.00
Weight 1 lb
Volume 1159 cu in
Dimensions 20 x 13 x 9 in
Harnessing Style Fixed Harness
Product Details from Mystery Ranch »